ukraine's fashion folklore and bohemia

Bohemian elements from the seventies seemed to be the center of street style in 2015. However, contrary to what most people know about the origins of bohemian fashion, the embroidered blouses and dresses hold a deeper meaning to people living in Eastern Europe, more specifically in Ukraine, where it is regarded as one of the country's most important national garments. 

In Ukraine a bohemian style blouse is known as a vyshyvanka. To give a little insight, traditionally, it was the duty of every woman to embroider a vyshyvanka of her own and members of her family. More important information is that the floral patterns Western fashion associates with seventies bohemian fashion are actually distinguished features of traditional Ukrainian embroidery.

In the west, street style depictions of this Ukranian garment have been seen in the form of baggy, maxi dresses, but in Ukraine the vyshyvanka is solely identified as a blouse that is worn by males and females alike. While those, who may not know much about the garment, look at it as just a shirt, or another fashion fad, to me it is more than just another shirt...

Every vyshyvanka is special and unique, as the design and the technique of its implementation flows from the heart, not from the austere mind. Here is my very own hand-made vyshyvanka, surrounded by the serenity of the landscape and enveloped by the limpid air:

The prime process of embroidery is conducted by lyrical urges, with a hint of a slight exaltation and tender rapture. However, it is equalized with mild and anxious palpitation.


From my point of view, vyshyvanka is a genuine piece of art, as the creation process involves a deep reflection of oneself and evokes a deliberation on the essence of personality.

What's more, I'd never be so proud boasting my brand-new Dolce & Gabbana dress than my own hand-made vyshyvanka. 

Vogue's Liana Satenstein has already written a great article on the influence of Ukrainian national costume on global contemporary fashion. A definite must-read:

In addition, if you want to get an insight into the emerging Ukrainian fashion industry, here is my selection of recommended articles: